George Washington Litton | 1980
Litton helped Virginia become the first state to establish beef cattle performance testing programs, and he started ram and boar testing as well.
1910-1989 | Artist: Jack K. Hodgkin (born 1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
After earning his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), George Litton worked as an extension agent. He returned to VPI, completing his master’s degree in 1940 and immediately joining the faculty.
In 1942, he was named extension sheep specialist, and in 1952, head of the animal husbandry department. Professor Litton helped Virginia become the first state to establish beef cattle performance testing programs, and he started ram and boar testing as well. For many years, he attracted thousands of producers to his annual Animal Industry Day seminars, and he was known for a regular column he wrote in Livestock Breeder Journal.
Professor Litton developed one of the most successful 4-H livestock judging programs in the nation, and he always made his students a priority, hiring many graduates. In 1970, Litton retired and became director of Virginia Polytechnic Institute’s centennial celebration.
He was honored many times for his accomplishments, including being named “Man of the Year in Agriculture” by Progressive Farmer (1961) and Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science (1973).
Did You Know?
Litton was an honorary Kentucky Colonel.
Litton-Reaves Hall on the Virginia Tech campus was constructed in 1981. Originally known as Animal Sciences Building, it was renamed Litton-Reaves Hall in March 1989.